If you’ve been in a relationship for a long time, you probably know it’s coming soon. Whether a friend spilled the beans or your partner gave you the heads-up (wink, wink), you have every reason to believe they'll be down on bended knee soon enough. With a proposal just around the corner, here are seven things you might want to do to prepare.
1. Think about your wedding plans.
"Depending on when your love pops the question, and when your dream wedding will take place, there may not be very much time to actually plan for it," says Kelly Heyn, owner of Social Life Event Planning in New Jersey. Because many venues and vendors book up to a year in advance, it's smart to start selecting on the sly whom you might want to approach once you can officially begin planning. "Don't book anything until you are actually engaged," she cautions, "but it doesn't hurt to start looking."
2. Drop hints about the ring you want.
If you think your partner has begun the ring search and you're dying for a very specific diamond, you might consider letting them know by sharing your Pinterest password or asking a friend to help find "the one." "Most women have a clear idea of what her perfect engagement ring looks like, but many partners do not have a clue when it comes time to start the shopping," Heyn says.
3. Get your ring finger sized.
"In this case, size also matters," Heyn says. "There is nothing worse than being asked that important question, and then not being able to wear the ring because it is too large or too small." Drop by a jeweler who can accurately size your finger, so you'll be ready to provide the right number should your partner ask.
4. Repeat after us: Relax!
Is the anticipation killing you? "The best thing you can do is take a few deep breaths," says Rachel Needle, a clinical psychologist and certified sex therapist based in Fort Lauderdale. "You don't want to build the moment up in your head or create expectations, because then you are just setting yourself up for disappointment for what should be a happy moment regardless of how it unfolds."
5. Go with the flow.
You may not feel like going to dinner tonight, but think twice before you say no to your partner's date-night-out idea. Do your best to go along with whatever plans they make. "If you start saying something like, 'I don't feel like going to that restaurant tonight,' you might be creating challenges to the proposal plan," Needle says.
6. Initiate some big talks.
Hopefully, you've already had these conversations, but if not, now's the time to start talking about children. Beyond whether or not you want them, it's important to discuss how you will raise them, core values, religious affiliations, and how you want to model behavior or discipline them. Additionally, you should consider "where you will live, your goals and dreams, how you will handle money issues, and what's important to you," Needle says. Doing so will allow you to truly access your compatibility as life-long partners.
7. And don't forget to talk about the proposal itself, too.
No, you don't want to ruin any surprises. But if certain traditions are important to you, such as your partner getting your parent's blessing or this priceless moment being photographed by a pro, you should let them know. "Don't be afraid to talk about this stuff," Heyn says. "This moment only happens once in a lifetime...if you have some sort of expectation, make it known."